A bottom-of-the-line C-class sedan like this is pretty easy to overlook, even if it’s the nicest one on the planet. It’s certainly not flashy or fast. But if you think about how you really use a car – to commute to work, fetch something at the store, make a weekend getaway – a handsome little C230 like this one would do all of those things with plenty of style and aplomb.
By 1998, the W202 generation was getting pretty long in the tooth. But that just means most of the car’s earlier bugs (like degrading wiring harnesses) had been worked out. It also means you get to enjoy a much improved automatic gearbox, the 5-speed 722.6, introduced (in the US) for the 1996 model year. This should help to make the most of the 2.3 liter four’s rather meager output (148 hp).
So if you value things that are highly functional and made to a high standard – which pretty much defines Mercedes-Benz at its peak – that’s what this car is all about. When new, it was sort of like a $50,000 Honda Civic. Understandably, no one really makes cars like this any more. And the fact that, for just a few thousand bucks these days, you can pick one up that’s still basically showroom fresh is pretty remarkable.
Offered on Autotrader HERE by a private seller in the Albuquerque area for a Grant less than $8000. If it’s truly a needs-nothing car, I think $7500 or less would be well bought.